Ecological sensitivity and risk assessment in the Kizilirmak Delta
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The purpose of this study is to present the ecosystems where ecological sensitivity is high due to anthropogenic and natural influences and which are under risk, and to make recommendations concerning the sustainable use of these areas. Firstly, the factors having an impact on the ecological sensitivity in the delta site were identified by making different literature reviews. The factors considered in this study consist of elevation, land use, soil, water systems, population density, settlements and roads. The weights of these factors in the multi-parameter model were specified by using the method Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Ecological sensitivity and risk zones were revealed by classifying the obtained sensitivity and risk values as extremely sensitivity and risk, high sensitivity and risk, moderate sensitivity and risk, light sensitivity and risk and no sensitivity and risk. The factors leading to risk and sensitivity to be high were examined in the observations made during field works. The results obtained from the study show that especially the eastern side of the delta, the surroundings of the lagoons and the lowlands around the coastal dunes are areas with high sensitivity and risk. This knowledge is qualified as a base for the local authorities and decision-makers.